United Kingdom hate crimes surge on Brexit, terror attacks

The Home Office said hate crimes could be fuelled by more than one motive but said the increase followed high profile events including the Brexit vote and the Westminster Bridge attack

It also says that police should not question a victim or witness's impression that a crime was motivated by hate or prejudice, and that "evidence of the hostility is not required for an incident or crime to be recorded as a hate crime or hate incident".

There were 80,393 hate crimes recorded in England and Wales in the past year, compared to 62,518 the year before.

Over the same period religious hate crime increased by 35 percent (up 1,549 to 5,949 offenses), the Home Office said. The report notes that there was a spike in the number of racially or religiously aggravated offenses after the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack in March, when a man killed 5 people after driving a auto into pedestrians and stabbing a police officer.

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Provisional police figures show that the number of crimes, which increased after the Westminster Bridge attack, continued to climb until June as the Manchester Arena, London Bridge and Finsbury Park attacks followed.

The Home office said: "Due to the widespread reporting of and interest in hate crime around the time of the European Union referendum, information has been included in the statistical bulletin on the levels of hate crime recorded around the referendum which took place on the 23 June 2016".

It added: 'The Office for National Statistics have stated that increases in recent years in police recorded violence against the person and public order offences have been driven by improvements in police recording.

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Despite the rise in offenses, prosecutions for hate crimes actually declined in the year to 2016/2017, from 15,442 to 14,480 people.

This means that the courts passed increased sentences in more than 6,300 cases.

I've also spent the past year travelling the country to meet grassroots anti-racism campaigners doing tireless work with dwindling resources who are discovering increasing levels of hate crime.

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But specially-compiled statistics released past year revealed a sharp rise in the number of racially or religiously aggravated offences logged by forces in the weeks following the referendum in June.

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